The NCAA has levied recruiting sanctions on the University of Florida football team and given head football coach Dan Mullen a show clause, for “failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance,” according to a release by the Division I Committee of Infractions.
The University of Florida and Mullen worked with the Division I Committee on Infractions and agreed that Mullen and an unnamed assistant made the infractions. The report detailed mostly older violations, and most of the sanctions have already been rendered and served.
The infractions included “approximately 127 prospects when seven non-scholastic football teams visited the campus and toured the football facilities on their way to a tournament in Tampa.”
In a written statement, Mullen took ownership of the violations.
“As Head Football Coach of the Florida Gators, promoting an atmosphere of compliance within our program is important to me. Following the rules and being committed to doing things the right way is part of my history as a coach, at all levels, and I regret we didn’t do things the right way in this situation,” Dan Mullens said in a statement. “Even though this is an isolated matter, I’m still disappointed in the violations outlined in the report. We’re going to learn from our mistakes and I’m confident this won’t happen again. Most importantly, we’ll keep working for the benefit of our student-athletes to make our program one our fans and University can be proud of.”
University of Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin acknowledged the misstep while defending the history of Florida’s compliance under his watch.
“There is no evidence of systemic compliance issues at Florida, but when isolated circumstances occur they are addressed head-on and we accept responsibility for our actions, as evidenced by this instance,” Stricklin said in a statement.
“NCAA rules are in place to create fairness and integrity, and the University of Florida has an established history of adhering to those rules. It is important for our coaches and staff to remain diligent and take responsibility for compliance, and extricate themselves from potential NCAA violations.”
“The first situation involved a group of high school students who stopped by campus on unofficial visits while en route to a 7-on-7 tournament. While today this is allowed under NCAA rules, at the time this occurred it was not permitted. The second involved an interaction between two of our coaches, including our head coach, and a prospective student-athlete at his high school that lasted 15 minutes, which is beyond what is allowed under NCAA rules. Neither of these violations involved impermissible benefits or offers of impermissible benefits and UF ceased recruiting these athletes once made aware of the circumstances.”
The most notable of the restrictions handed out to Florida is a one-year show-cause for Dan Mullen, which prevented him from recruiting off-campus during the 2020 fall evaluation period and four days during the 2021 contact period.
The report contains the full list of penalties as approved by the Committee on Infractions, including
One year of probation
A $5,000 fine
Reduced fall 2019 evaluations from 42 to 21
Reduced football evaluation days by 12 for the 2018-19 academic year
Restrictions on all recruiting telephone calls with football prospects from April 15 through May 31, 2019
A reduction in the number of football official visits during the 2019-20 academic year by one and in the number of unofficial visits during the 2019-20 academic year by 14
A one-year show-cause order for the head football coach. During that period, the head coach is prohibited from all off-campus recruiting activity during the fall 2020 evaluation period and a four-day off-campus recruiting ban during the fall 2021 contact period
The university banned the head coach from recruiting for the first 10 days of the January 2020 contact period
A 30-day off-campus recruiting ban for the head coach during the fall 2019 evaluation period
The university ended the recruitment of the prospect
The university will not recruit any prospects from the high school in Seattle from the 2019-20 through 2020-21 academic years.
A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff during the spring 2021 off-campus recruiting period
A 30-day off-campus recruiting ban for the assistant coach in October 2019 and a three-day off-campus recruiting ban for the January 2020 contact period
One-on-one rules education for both the head coach and assistant coach regarding NCAA contact and evaluation rules.
If an opportunity to serve a penalty will not be available due to circumstances related to COVID-19, the penalty must be served at the next available opportunity.
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